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Saturday 1st of October 2022

Elasticity and scalability in Cloud Computing – what do you need to know


What is Elasticity and Scalability?

After Gartner Glossary, “cloud service elasticity is the ability to increase or decrease the amount of system capacity on demand, in an automated fashion”. In other words, elasticity in cloud computing refers to the ability of a cloud to automatically expand or compress the infrastructural resources on a sudden up and down in the requirement so that the workload can be managed efficiently.


“Scalability in cloud computing can handle the changing needs of an application within the confines of the infrastructure via statically adding or removing resources to meet applications demands if needed.”


Turbonomic Blog


Cloud Elasticity vs Cloud Scalability

However, the term is commonly used where the persistent deployment of resources is required to handle the workload statically. In cloud computing, scalability can be vertical and horizontal.


What are the Different Types of Elasticity?

“In business and economics, elasticity refers to the degree of change, to which individuals, customers, producers, and suppliers alter demand and supply when variables like income are changed in time.”

The elasticity of demand and elasticity of supply are the two main elasticity types. From a different point of view, elasticity types can be:

Price Elasticity of Demand (PED)

It measures the responsiveness of quantity demanded to a change in its price. The concept of the PED was introduced in 1890 by Alfred Marshall, and it is considered as the change of percentage in quantity demanded in response to a one percent change in price when other determinants of demand are constant.

Cross Elasticity of Demand (XED)

So-called Cross Elasticity of Demand (XED) is an economic concept that can measure the responsiveness in the quantity demanded of one good when the price of other goods changes. It is also called cross-price elasticity of demand, and it is calculated by taking the percentage change in the quantity demanded of one good and dividing it by the percentage change in the price of the other good.

Income Elasticity of Demand (YED)

It is also possible to measure the responsiveness in the quantity demanded for a good or service when the real income of the consumers is changed. It is called Income Elasticity Demand. The formula for calculating the income elasticity of demand is the percent change in quantity demanded, divided by the percent change in income. This concept helps us find whether a good is a necessity or an unnecessary expense.

Price Elasticity of Supply (PES)

It can measure the responsiveness to the supply of a good or service after a change in its market price. Let us explain: when there is a clear fall in the price of a good, its supply is also decreased, and when the prices are on the rise, the supply is increased.

In conclusion, these four types of elasticity that measure responsiveness of two main economic variables, demand and supply, when other market variables are changed.

How to Measure Elasticity?

In everyday life, elasticity is the ability of a material to regain its shape after being stretched or compressed. To discuss the elasticity measurement, let’s refer to the definition used by the giant company. Microsoft Azure defines elasticity in cloud computing as “the ability to quickly expand or decrease computer processing, memory, and storage resources to meet changing demands without worrying about capacity planning and engineering for peak usage.”

As can be seen, to measure elasticity you must consider the time and the demand.

Elasting computing is usually associated with scale-out solutions or so-called horizontal scaling, which allow the user to add or remove resources dynamically when it is needed.

Elasticity is typically connected to public cloud resources and is associated with pay-per-use or pay-as-you-grow services. This is the perfect solution for IT managers when it is not necessary to pay for more resources than are consumed at a particular time.

What is the Difference Between Scalability and Elasticity?

Cloud computing scalability and cloud computing elasticity are sometimes used interchangeably, but the two processes, however similar they sound, differ in their approach. Let us have a look at scalability versus elasticity. The differences between cloud elasticity and cloud computing scalability are given in the table below:

As you can see, cloud elasticity allows you to match the number of resources allocated with the number of resources needed at any given time.

With cloud computing scalability, you can add and remove resources to meet the changing needs within the confines of existing infrastructure.

Everyone can imagine a giant like Amazon Web Services and its online shopping site, whose transaction workload increases during the festive season like Christmas. During this period of time, special service is indispensable. When the season goes out, the giant resources are no longer necessary. So in this case we can see that elasticity is the ability to grow or shrink infrastructure resources in the dynamic way as needed to adapt to workload changes in a very autonomic manner, while maximising the use of assets.

The Importance of Understanding Elasticity and Scalability in Cloud Computing

To sum up, elastic computing in the cloud allows every company to scale computer processing, memory, and storage capacity to meet changing needs. Scalability measurement will prevent you from worrying about capacity planning.

According to a study by Wakefield Research, 92% of organisations are either in the midst of app modernization or are planning to. The research shows that many of these modernization projects run into trouble. “As the projects progress, they grow more complex, more expensive, and riskier”. That is the area for experts in cloud computing scalability.

In order to successfully adapt cloud solutions the smart system is indispensable. Cloud elasticity and cloud scalability can differ from each other, but together they have got real power.


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